SE Nebraska Park Opens Equestrian Camping Area
People who like to take their horses along on camping trips will have a new place to visit in Southeast Nebraska, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
The Nebraska Horse Trails Committee, with the help of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, has installed 12 steel corrals at Branched Oak Lake near Raymond.
It is one of only two public campgrounds in the state with electric hookups and corrals for horse campers, said committee chair Kathy Newberg.
The other equestrian campground is at the Willow Creek State Recreation Area in Pierce in the northeast corner of the state.
"We usually have to do primitive camping. It's kind of a luxury for horse people," said Newberg of the electrical hook-ups.
The Branched Oak Equestrian Campground is at Area 2 near the Homestead Campground on the southwest corner of the state recreation area.
A private grand opening and ribbon-cutting event for trail riders who have registered was scheduled for Saturday (June 16). About 70 people were signed up, Newberg said.
Tom Morrison, superintendent of the Branched Oak State Recreation Area, said the equestrian campground is a great addition.
"We get a lot of people that come up and camp with horses, and before they never had a place to do that," he said.
Branched Oak has a good system of trails on the south side of the lake and some on the northwest side, Morrison said, which riders can enjoy for hours.
The committee, part of the Nebraska Horse Council, raised about $4,200 for the project and received a $52,000 grant from the federal Recreational Trails Program. Game and Parks donated in-kind labor.
One of the features of the campground is a "mounting block" to help handicapped people get on horses, Newberg said.
"There are none of those in eastern Nebraska," she said, adding that the only other one is at Fort Robinson State Park in the northwest corner of the state.
The committee, made up of a core group of about 10 trail riders, recently donated and installed eight corrals at the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey.